Slack Introduces New and Improved App Toolkit
Enhanced platform for today's developers
Slack recently announced that 12 million people are now using the app on a daily basis. While there are many reasons for Slack’s popularity, the Spec team in Slack, responsible for developer solutions, believes that the developer environment plays a significant role.
Slack is well-known for being one of most diverse collaboration apps on the market, with countless integrations available for modern users. New upgrades to the app toolkit in Slack should mean that today’s developers can create even more immersive solutions for everyday users. Here are just some of the most recent upgrades to the Slack developer environment.
Introducing New Block Kit Features
Block Kit is the UI framework that developers use to build apps in Slack. Now, there are two new features to this UI, including a home tab for your applications that you can customise to suit your needs. This allows for more detailed and tailor-made displays. There are also new multistep modals to explore. These windows appear atop the Slack interface to help users gather information and results. Developers can show as many additional screens as they need to gather useful contextual information.
Developers will be able to access more in-app content displays using the new upgrades, delivering more structure to their workflows. On the other hand, users benefit from being able to do more in Slack without opening additional apps.
Simple App Discovery and Installation
For an app to be effective, it needs to be easy to discover and install. Fortunately, Slack is launching new ways for users to find apps in their workplace. The current list of apps in the Slack sidebar is going to become a more visible and easy-to-find solution listing all the apps installed in a single environment, with insights into how to find more tools too. At the same time, there are going to be new ways to launch apps in Slack, including:
- Follow up, comment, or create a task from any Slack message using a Message Action
- A persistent action menu displayed in the sidebar with insights into popular actions
- The option to pin actions to channels
- A quick switcher tool that users can access to search for specific actions
The new discovery tools from Slack mean that its easier to find the apps that your organisation approves if you’re in a standard workplace. For developers, the features mean that it’s easier to get more exposure for the apps that you create.
Improved Permissions Models
Finally, for enterprise-grade apps, Slack has designed a new permissions model allowing developers to ask for what they need and nothing more. The granular permissions system is now in open beta, and they highlight what apps should be able to see and do in a workspace. For developers, this means increased control and transparency on the information that your app needs to work with Slack. For users and administrators, it should become easier to get apps approved for workspace use.
Slack also announced the arrival of a host of new updates this month to bring more tools and integrations into the collaboration environment. For instance, there’s a new certification program coming into the Slack developer community, to help businesses hire the most advanced Slack architects. The Workflow builder from Slack is also now available to all paid customers, and a selection of applications have become available across shared channels.
Back in March, Slack also launched a Platform Community that supports developers looking for new ways to build exciting work solutions on Slack. There are already groups in this community in over 50 cities around the world.
Slack says that the company is always on a journey to improve and upgrade the way that people work, and the business can’t wait to see how the new tools deliver results for today’s teams.